BRIT AWARDS EXPAND, ADD R&B

Nominees for Artist of the Year and International Artist of the Year have been increased to 10 from five, while R&B will have a stand-alone category among five genre awards.

The changes are aimed at improving representation and inclusion following criticism posed at the org earlier this year when 2023’s nominees were revealed. Complaints were made after no women were shortlisted for British Artist of the Year, an award that replaced the gendered categories two years ago.

R&B, which was previously listed under Best Pop/R&B Act, was also underrepresented in 2023’s ceremony; Atlantic artist Mahalia called for the genre to be given its own category. “Winning awards isn’t the reason why we make and release music. We do this shit out of love. But, at this point, it’s nothing short of disrespectful,” she said at the time, noting that U.K. R&B was “thriving.”

Eligibility for 2024’s R&B Award will cover a 24-month period as opposed to the usual 12 months to ensure that artists that released music in those two years qualify and are eligible.

“British music is special, the secret ingredient is its rich diversity of genre bending sounds created by the most eclectic artists of all backgrounds,” BPI Chair YolanDa Brown said. “It was this that prompted The BRIT Awards to introduce genre-based awards in 2022, and we are delighted to continue this with the addition of a new standalone R&B category.”

The BRITs has also announced that 2024’s trophy will be designed by visual artist Rachel Jones. The ceremony takes place at London’s O2 Arena on 3/2.

In other U.K. news, is it too early to switch from Darjeeling to gin?

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